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N. Korean art troupe expected to perform popular S. Korean songs

2018/02/08 12:02

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- Popular South Korean songs are said to be included in the repertoire of North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra, which is set to perform in the seaside city of Gangneung later Thursday.

The 140 member-strong art troupe led by Hyon Song-wol, head of the all-female Moranbong Band, arrived in the South on Tuesday by ferry. Since yesterday, it has been holding rehearsals at the Gangneung Arts Center for its upcoming concert in the sub-host city of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

Hyon Song-wol, head of the all-female Moranbong Band and the leader of the Samjiyon Orchestra, enters the Gangneung Arts Center in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, for a rehearsal on Feb. 8, 2018. (Yonhap) Hyon Song-wol, head of the all-female Moranbong Band and the leader of the Samjiyon Orchestra, enters the Gangneung Arts Center in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, for a rehearsal on Feb. 8, 2018. (Yonhap)

The performance list is said to include such all-time popular South Korean songs as Lee Sun-hee's "To J" and Shim Soo-bong's "Man is Ship, Woman is Port," as well as some well-known western music.

The project orchestra is comprised of musicians from six or seven famous North Korean music teams, including Samjiyon Band, Moranbong Band, Chongbong Band, the State Symphony Orchestra of DPRK, Mansudae Art Troupe and the State Merited Chorus of the DPR Korean People's Army.

Samjiyon Band is a classical music orchestra with 50-80 elite musicians known for the wide variety of their repertoire. In its concert held at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in January last year, it played sound tracks from popular American animated movies, such as "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King."

   Moranbong Band, which is often compared to K-pop girl bands for its idol-like looks and colorful performances, comprises 10 talented musicians and singers.

The concert in Gangneung is expected to last for one and a half hours but could be extended depending on audience response. The troupe is reportedly preparing for an additional performance in case of an encore.

Its next and last performance is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul.

A file photo from Uriminzokkiri shows North Korean singers from Moranbong Band and the State Merited Chorus of the DPR Korean People's Army performing together in 2017. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) A file photo from Uriminzokkiri shows North Korean singers from Moranbong Band and the State Merited Chorus of the DPR Korean People's Army performing together in 2017. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr

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